THE LIVING WAGE NETWORK
The network is composed of certification programs that recognize employers who pay a living wage, significantly impacting the lives of tens of thousands of low-wage workers across the country.
To date, over 2,500 small and medium sized businesses across the country have certified their willingness to pay a living wage to their employees. By linking organizations across the nation through this network, the Living Wage Network will expand and support the movement for living wages and lift up employers who believe it’s good business to pay livable wages to all workers.
What is Certification:
Living wage certification recognizes employers who pay workers fairly. After an interested employer has applied, they are guided through the certification process. As a certified living wage employer they are recognized and promoted for paying a living wage.
Living Wages Benefit Workers
When workers are paid a living wage, they are able to adequately provide for themselves and their families. They are able to avoid stress such as holding (or seeking) multiple jobs to make ends meet, acquiring crippling amounts of debt, or relying on financial assistance from family or friends. Because a living wage means workers can earn enough to provide for their basic needs by working fewer hours, it also means that workers can have more time to spend with their children, spouses, and friends. But the benefits of a living wage aren’t limited to the workers earning a living wage themselves. Having living wage employers in a community can create a ripple effect that raises the standards within a given industry or geographical area.
Living Wages Grow the Economy
Consumer demand is the fuel that drives economic growth. When consumers buy products, companies and their workers profit and the economy grows. But when the vast majority of families have limited wealth, they cannot afford to buy goods and services. Widespread inequality creates an economy that lacks consumer demand. This lack of demand weakens economic growth, thereby causing the economy as a whole to stagnate and decline. A living wage enables workers to buy goods and services, thereby increasing consumer demand and kick starting the engine of economic growth. That is to say, fair wages don't just benefit workers and companies on an individual level, they also helps the economy as a whole to function well. This in turn creates a broader tax base so that local, state, and federal governments can invest in the infrastructure and services that help strengthen communities. Paying a living wage creates an economy that works for everyone.
Living Wages Benefit Employers
Paying a living wage leads to increased worker morale, worker health, and improved quality of service. It also lowers turnover rates, saving money for employers. Economic research shows that higher wages aid in job creation and helps small business. Because living wages give workers more buying power to buy goods from local businesses, these findings should not be surprising.
START A CERTIFICATION PROJECT
In order to promote a more just economy, we seek to strengthen communities by recognizing employers who pay living wages.
Our toolkit was designed to help groups add this approach to their organizing.